The public housing agency INVU was rocked this week with charges that high officials have granted their families with publicly financed housing meant for the poor. The revelations included an accusation that one of its engineers, Jorge Chaverri Sánchez, lives in one in the Radial II development in Guarari in Heredia.
Chaverri denied inhabiting home 122 in the development after neighbors presented a photo of his car parked in the carport. He functions in a post that coordinates, supervises and finances poor family homes.
But executive INVU chief Alvaro Gonzalez told La Nacion, “There is a formal charge against Sr. Chaverri. He is being investigated to determine if he lives in that house and if there are irregularities. The board of directors will discuss their findings next Tuesday.”
Not only did neighbors present a photo of Chaverri’s Mitsubishi Montero in the garage but neighbor Christina Campos told the newspaper that the engineer has lived there since the development was opened on 2009 to families moving in.
Chaverri was uncooperative when interviewed in his office, holding his hand in front of his face when a photographer tried to take his picture, insulting the La Nacion reporter and threatening to have the journalists thrown out by INVU security.
Although Campos said Chaverri lives with Ania Grajales whose name is on the deed to the structure, Grajales denied that her house was the engineer’s residence.
The first hint of trouble in INVU came with a story broken by La Nacion Thursday that INVU was investigating charges that the Radial II development had been open to officials granting homes for the poor to family members.
The story said that Amarylis Aguilar, director of the development, had granted new homes to her sister-in-law, a niece and the mother-in-law of the niece. None of the three live in Guarari and INVU is supposed to grant houses with preference to those living in the same canton.
Recruitment and selection of the families to live in the development was held in 2008 and 2011. During this process, officials are accused of leaving poor families outside the process so their family members could take advantage of government bounty. Aguilar’s office compiled the lists.
Lots in poor housing developments are limited in size and it is charged that both the lots of Grajales and her sister exceed the size limit of 190 square meters.
Prosecutor Lissy Dorado filed a report with INVU charging other irregularities such as INVU social worker Lorena Pringle passing the Grajales sisters to receive their homes without a social investigation to judge their financial qualification.
Indeed one of the beneficiaries of housing at incredibly lenient financing was Pringle’s own sister, Ana Lorena. Indeed, another beneficiary appears well heeled to qualify, having three costly vehicles in his name at the National Registry, the paper reported.
Gonzalez made the understatement of the year when he told the paper, “At first glance, one notes that some things aren’t moral.” Gonzalez noted that he had occupied his INVU administration job for only a year and that all the questionable actions came before he was in the saddle.
Even more serious charges surfaced in a prosecutor’s investigation when several witnesses claimed under oath that Ania Grajal had charged them to be included in the list of future home-owners in the INVU project. Although one woman said she was asked for a million colones which she didn’t have) most were charged 150,000 to 300,000 colones.
Grajal denied the charges.
Article by iNews.co.cr